RALEIGH – Last week farmers from around the state rallied at the farm of Joey Carter. Carter, a hog farmer, stands to lose his farm due to an outsized judgement in a nuisance lawsuit. You may have heard about it because it led to legislative action to place caps on such suits, which spurred opposition from the Left.
Well, the News & Observer editorial staff took exception to farmers rallying to support farmers and wrote about how ‘phony’ they were. The Left cannot stand to allow hog farmers the same common sense protections from business-ending legal judgments that they want for themselves.
That seemingly hypocritical stance was called out in direct form by NC Farm Families, a group dedicated to defending farmers across the state from anti-agricultural activists of the Left. The blistering of the N&O is worth a full read, but here is a taste:
“What’s so puzzling is The N&O’s relentless attack on the broad support for efforts to address runaway jury verdicts and punitive damages that unfairly threaten farming in our state.
These efforts, which have aimed to provide clarity and certainty about nuisance lawsuits, involve a coalition of bipartisan lawmakers, cities and counties in farming regions, and a broad swath of agricultural organizations.
The N&O calls it “unseemly.”
Why is that so puzzling? Well, listen up.
It has to do with The News & Observer itself.
The N&O is currently dealing with the fallout from its own lawsuit. It published two articles in 2010 that made allegations about the conduct of a state law enforcement official. That public official brought a libel lawsuit against The N&O. If true, libel means the newspaper got it wrong and harmed the official with malice.
The newspaper disputed the libel allegation and the case went to a jury trial.
The N&O is critical of “erroneous” rulings by the judge that “abused” his discretion. The judge and jury made mistakes, The N&O claims, and “worse still, the trial court steered the jury toward a massive punitive damages award” that must be overturned.
The judge steered the jury? (Tell us about it.)
The N&O submitted its latest broadside to the appeals court at 4:44 p.m. on Monday, July 9.
At that same time, back here in Duplin County, Joey Carter was at his farm, facing an uncertain future. That next morning is when the hundreds of farmers went to visit – and to show they too agree that judges and juries can get things wrong.”
Read more about the N&O’s ongoing battle against unfair legal judgments that make its stance on farmers doing the same so curious.